We've been gone nearly a month now, and tomorrow morning we'll head back to the airport and take flight back across the Atlantic Ocean toward home. There will be many hours in the air, eight time zones crossed, and a few hours and customs to pass through in Washington D.C. before the final flight to Colorado.
So much has happened this month, it will take many posts to share it all. The first step, once we return home, will be to download my camera of all the priceless photos I've taken. I'm grateful for the digital camera we have, since I already know we have beautiful images to share, and I'll do some slide shows that capture the best of our memories—I hope.
Our first week with the kids and grandkids was wonderful, and then John and I left for Paris together. It surpassed any expectations I had. I can honestly say it was one of the more remarkable cities I've visited, and I didn't feel hampered by my ignorance of the language. People treated us beautifully. I did learn to say "Good day, do you speak English?" in French, which probably helped quite a bit. Most people did, at least enough for our needs. I can hardly wait to share our visit to Paris with you all.
Shortly after our return to The Netherlands, we all boarded a jet together and flew to Stockholm, Sweden. Ben put his back out just before we left, so he was in a considerable amount of pain. It made getting baggage and children from place to place a little crazy. That's part of the Sweden story, but it's just a side bar to several days that were great despite Ben's pain and rainy weather.
We took a cruise from there, and the story will continue with tales of Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia. What an amazing city that was! You'll see by the photos. We walked our legs off, but there was so much to see that it was worth it.
Our day at sea would seem to have been a time when the camera might not be used, but my photos that day were wonderful as well, from the grandchildren, to photos of the fiords we were passing through, and capped off by a spectacular sunset. It was heavenly.
We returned for another couple of days in Stockholm, where we got the news that my step father of 30 years had been transfered to a Hospice Home for his final days. I knew we wouldn't be able to make it back to my Mom before he passed away, and it saddened me. We waited and prayed as we continued on, flying back to Amsterdam on the 20th, four days before Papa John passed away.
So it's been a long month, and we'll be taking another trip to California to see Mom after we get home. The memorial service is being delayed so family can gather. It'll be on the 16th of September. Hopefully our jet lag and laundry will be memories by the time we pull out of the driveway to head out there. And I'll have at least one or two cities posted. Tomorrow is for flying. Tonight is for sleeping. Goodnight, Moon.